Get to Know the Builders of Consensus 2023

Near, Avalanche, Aave, Metamask and more: Here’s a look at a few innovative crypto projects and protocols, and the developers laying the foundation for the future of money.

Consensus Blog

Crypto and Web3 builders continue to do what they do best: build. In fact, the number of weekly active developers across the crypto ecosystem has grown steadily over the past three years, more active developers in this year’s bear market compared to the 2020 bear market.

Builders are some of the most important players in the Web3 ecosystem because they lay the foundational infrastructure needed to help blockchain technology fulfill its transformative potential.

Get to know some of the pioneering crypto builders from the ecosystem’s biggest protocols who are joining us on stage at Consensus 2023.

Illia Polosukhin, co-founder, Near Protocol

Illia Polosukhin co-founded Near Protocol with Alexander Skidanov in 2017. Before launching Near, Illia spent years at Google, where he was a major TensorFlow contributor and managed the team-building question-answering capabilities for the core Google search. He was also an author of several notable research papers.

Near Protocol is a platform where developers can build decentralized applications powered by a smart contract-enabled blockchain. Like Ethereum, Near is a layer 1 blockchain, but transactions on Near are faster and cheaper than on Ethereum.

Near keeps transactions fast and cheap through a technique called “sharding,” which involves breaking up the blockchain into smaller parts to avoid the problem of becoming too big.

Learn more about Near Protocol: What Is Near Protocol and How Does It Work?

Emin Gün Sirer, CEO, Ava Labs

Emin Gün Sirer is a Cornell University computer scientist turned Web3 builder, co-founder and CEO. Emin was a professor of Computer Science at Cornell, where his research focused on operating systems, networking and distributed systems. He is well known for having implemented the first currency that used proof-of-work (PoW) to mint coins, as well as his research on “selfish mining,” characterizing the scale and centralization of existing cryptocurrencies, and proposing the leading protocols for on-chain and off-chain scaling.

Today, Emin is known as the co-founder and CEO of Ava labs, which he launched in 2018 with fellow Cornell computer scientists Kevin Sekinqi and Maofan Ted Yin.

Emin’s history with Consensus runs deep. He moderated a panel on trust, permissions and openness that featured crypto pioneers Vitalik Buterin and Greg Maxwell at CoinDesk’s very first Consensus gathering in 2015.

Ava Labs is responsible for developing Avalanche, a self-proclaimed “blazingly fast, low-cost and eco-friendly” layer 1 blockchain. Avalanche uses the Avalanche Consensus Protocol to combine scaling capabilities and quick confirmation times. Avalanche can process 4,500 transactions per second while Ethereum can only process 14.

The Avalanche Consensus Protocol claims to combine the benefits of Classical protocols and Nakamoto protocols, boasting scalability, robustness, decentralization, low latency, high throughput, sustainability and resiliency.

Learn more about Avalanche: What Is Avalanche? A Look at the Popular ‘Ethereum-Killer’ Blockchain

Stani Kulechov, founder and CEO, Aave Companies; Lens Protocol

As the founder and CEO of Aave Companies and founder of Lens Protocol, Stani is a Web3 pioneer. Stani is an experienced thought leader in decentralized finance (DeFi), Web3 technology and Web3 social. He landed a spot on CoinDesk’s 2021 Most Influential for his role in the success of Aave, the decentralized finance money market he founded in 2017.

Aave Companies is known for creating the Aave Protocol, one of the most widely used decentralized liquidity protocols. Governed by AAVE token holders, the protocol allows users to supply and borrow crypto assets without intermediaries. In May 2022, Aave Companies launched Lens Protocol, the open-source decentralized social media protocol. The Protocol enables users to own and manage their data, content and social profile and has built-in tools for developers to create social media applications and services.

Learn more about Aave: Aave: Understanding the Crypto Lending Platform

Taylor Monahan, builder, MetaMask

Taylor has been building Web3 infrastructure since 2015 when she founded MyEtherWallet, an open-source, client-side interface for generating Ethereum wallets that help users interact with the Ethereum blockchain easily and securely. In 2015, she founded MyCrypto, a free, open-source interface for interacting with blockchain technology more easily.

In 2022, MyCrypto joined MetaMask to combine their efforts toward making an easy-to-use and secure digital wallet that is capable of onboarding the next generation of Web3 users.

MetaMask is a free crypto wallet software that is available as a smartphone app or a web browser extension. MetaMask is among the most popular Web3 wallets on the market because it allows users to easily connect to any Ethereum-based platforms. MetaMask makes it easy for users to safely store Ethereum-based tokens such as ether (ETH); ERC-20, the standard for making crypto tokens such as AAVE and USDC; and ERC-721, the standard used for making non-fungible tokens (NFT).

Learn more about MetaMask: How to Set Up a MetaMask Wallet

Sergey Nazarov, co-founder, Chainlink

Sergey Nazarov is co-founder of Chainlink, the industry-standard Web3 services platform that has enabled trillions of dollars in transaction volume across DeFi, insurance, gaming, NFTs and other major industries. Sergey founded Chainlink with Steve Ellis and Ari Juels in 2017 but has been building in the crypto space since 2011.

As the leading decentralized oracle network, Chainlink enables developers to build feature-rich Web3 applications with seamless access to real-world data and off-chain computation across any blockchain and provides global enterprises with a universal gateway to all blockchains.

Chainlink recently partnered with SWIFT, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, to help make token transfers and communicate across all blockchain environments.

Sergey is no stranger to Consensus. He appeared on stage in 2021 and 2022 to discuss Chainlink’s latest updates.

Learn more about Chainlink: SWIFT Is Partnering With Chainlink: Here’s the Down-low on the Blockchain Data Provider

Nikil Viswanathan, co-founder and CEO, Alchemy

Nikil Viswanathan is the co-founder and CEO of Alchemy, the world's leading blockchain developer platform that allows users to build scalable and decentralized applications. Nikil got his start at Stanford University, where he received a BS and MS in computer science. He also has experience as a product manager at Google, Microsoft and Facebook. A serial entrepreneur, he co-created the #1 social app in the world, Down To Lunch, and was named on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

Alchemy powers over $150 billion in transactions globally including the entire NFT industry and a majority of top blockchain companies. Alchemy is backed by top investors including Coatue, a16z, Lightspeed, Silver Lake, Pantera and many more.

Read more about Alchemy: Web3 Developer Platform Alchemy Releases Transaction Simulation Product

Hear from these builders and more at Consensus 2023

These builders are just a few of the speakers slated to join our Consensus 2023 gathering April 26-28 in Austin, Texas. Take a look at the full speaker lineup to see all of those working together to make crypto and Web3 a transformative industry.

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